Western Australian Energy Minister, Bill Johnston, today released a report showing an increase in rooftop solar installations, and the major milestones achieved a year into the implementation of the Distributed Energy Resources (DER) Roadmap.
DER, which includes small-scale rooftop solar panel systems, batteries and electric vehicles, have been taken up by households and businesses at unprecedented rates. Western Australians added a record 300 megawatts (MW) of small-scale solar in 2020 – nearly the equivalent of the state’s largest coal-fired generator – the 340 MW Collie power station.
The rapid uptake of these technologies is transforming WA’s electricity system, presenting challenges and opportunities for how it produces, manages and consumes energy. Released in April 2020, the roadmap, developed under the State Government’s Energy Transformation Strategy, outlines the actions WA must take over the next five years to meet these challenges.
After 12 months of progress, the implementation of the Roadmap actions is on track, with highlights including:
- Installing a further 10 PowerBanks to enable more customers to take part in community battery storage while supporting Western Power’s network;
- Commencing a time-of-use tariff pilot to encourage greater energy consumption in the middle of the day, when solar energy is most plentiful; and
- Progressing Project Symphony, which will test the co-ordination of large quantities of customer solar panels, batteries and large appliances so that they act as a virtual power plant and provide services to the power system.
Energy Policy WA, Western Power, Synergy, Horizon Power and the Australian Energy Market Operator are all working together to implement the roadmap.
In addition to the roadmap, the WA Government is committing $218 million to provide more than 1,000 standalone power systems in regional WA and a $57.4 million investment into renewable technology as part of the WA Recovery Plan.
Energy Minister Bill Johnston said the Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap is a key element of the McGowan Government’s Energy Transformation Strategy, which will ensure the state’s power system is ready for the growing uptake of renewable energy.
“Congratulations to the Energy Transformation Taskforce team and its Chair Stephen Edwell for the major milestones achieved in its first year – we will continue to ensure its implementation remains on track,” Minister Johnston said.
“The McGowan Government is committed to progressing our state towards a cleaner, greener energy future and ensuring renewable energy sources are supported by our grid.”
Energy Transformation Taskforce Chair, Stephen Edwell, said that the energy transformation in Western Australia is continuing at a rapid rate, with 2020 being a record year for the uptake of rooftop solar panels.
“The challenges presented by DER are being managed by the roadmap, but much work is still to be done,” Mr Edwell said.
“Continued vigilance and the full implementation of the Energy Transformation Strategy is needed to ensure the safe and efficient operation of our energy system.”
The Distributed Energy Resources Roadmap progress report can be found here.